I’ve basically been living out of a suitcase for the last year. If I added up the days at home and the days away, the days away would probably win. A death in the family, the arrival of two grand babies, our son’s wedding, and severe health struggles for my parents have kept me on the road.
This last week was no different. I left home last Wednesday and drove to my parents’ home in Shreveport to meet my sister-in-law. We spent several days packing and preparing for my parents upcoming move from Louisiana to Tennessee.
Then Saturday afternoon I made the 4-hour drive from Shreveport to our second daughter’s new home in Denton, Texas. Sarah and her husband moved from a rental to their first home that morning and I went to help with the baby for a few days so she could unpack and settle in.
I had seen the new house once before they moved in, but still needed to use Google Maps to find it again. I drove into the neighborhood and spotted what looked like their home on the next corner. As I turned onto the street in front of the house, Google announced “You have arrived at your destination!” Great!
As I parked on the street in front of the house I took note of the cars in the driveway. I didn’t recognize either of them, but since friends and family had been helping them move earlier in the day, I surmised they belonged to them.
Since I didn’t want to cause more work for them, I got all my stuff out of the car and up to the front porch. Now, you need to understand that when I travel by car, I don’t travel lightly. I had a suitcase, a shoe bag, a snack bag, my rolling briefcase, and two king-sized pillows.
As I got the last of it on the porch, I knocked on the door and looked around. Although it looked just like the house I’d visited before, there were a few things that gave me pause – the potted plants, the door mat, and the multiple dogs that began barking at my knock.
Hmm. Could I possibly be at the wrong house? I texted Sarah. “Am I at the right house?”
I heard a woman’s voice inside talking to the dogs, just inside the door. “Who’s out there guys?” It was not my daughter’s voice.
I envisioned the home owner looking through the peep hole. What did she see? Unknown middle-aged woman with baggage.
What should I do? What would she do?
About that time Sarah texted back. “No.”
My fear was confirmed. I was at the wrong house.
Okay. Well, I decided that when the woman opened the door, I would explain my mistake with a laugh and apologize.
But the woman didn’t open the door. She must have thought I looked too dangerous. Or crazy.
Either way, it was time for me to go. I wanted to run and not look back. But I needed all my baggage. And it took two trips to get it all back to the car. I wondered if the woman watched out the peep hole the whole time.
Sarah’s house was exactly one block to the south. Same corner. Same layout. But the residents were much more friendly. They even helped me haul in my bags.
I love how God works. In the midst of a chaotic time in my life, he used a case of mistaken location to give me a laugh and to remind me not to take myself too seriously.
I just wanted to share a little bit of what my life has been like recently. God has me in a unique season. But He is growing me and I’m leaning on Him. What has YOUR life been like lately?
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We have had an unusual 60 days I must say. On January 5, a very dear friend died from stage 4 breast cancer. My kids grew up with hers and we could finish each others sentences. About 10 years ago, she and her family moved to Baku, Azerbijan and then Istanbul, Turkey to work for about 6 years. When they came home 4 years ago, they settled about 3 hours from us. She and her husband mentored my now son-in-law for many years in their home. Her loss is deeply felt by my whole family. A couple of weeks later, my son-in-law’s grandmother died, so he, our daughter and their two small children travelled to Pennsylvania for that funeral. He and my daughter are flying back there this weekend for his brother’s wedding and we are keeping the kids and the dog. 🙂 However, we received word this morning that one of my husband’s uncles died and my husband (associate pastor and worship leader) has been asked to speak and sing at this service on Saturday. I really do not want to expose my granddaughter who will be 4 on Monday to another funeral. I don’t seem to have any choice. We have also had a downs baby born into the family in the last week. She is having some struggles, so we continue to pray. I don’t remember when we have had so much stuff happen in such a short amount of time. I hope this time of pain will be over soon.
Oh Carol, I am so sorry about all you are going through! I pray you will experience the lavish, all-sufficient grace of God in these difficult times.
I LOVED this story Kathy! I could envision the whole thing…especially you dragging a ton of gear to the front door! Thanks for the laugh as well as the update! I sure wish i lived closer and could lend a hand.
I would definitely put you to work my friend!
Kathy, When I read this, I could just imagine you telling this story in person and I could hear your laugh! Thinking of you as you go through these many changes this year. I have a change coming too. Planning to retire from teaching this June! 🙂
Cami, congrats on the retirement!! The four of us will definitely have to get together. Now that both you and Wayne will be retired there will be no excuse!!
This made me laugh! Made me think what I would do if I saw someone on my porch with bags, pillows, etc.